Like many Filipino families who come to the United States, Away Luggage co-founder Jen Rubio’s was no different.
“When we first came here, we worked really hard to assimilate and you kind of lost that sense of the Filipino culture. But as you get older, you realize how special it is and how important it is to who you are,” she said.
Rubio dreamed of being a lawyer, but went to college to learn about the supply chain, or how goods make it to the consumer.
“Fast forward to about three years ago to when my luggage broke… My clothes spilled out everywhere and when I was looking for a replacement, I realized there weren’t any great luggage brands out there,” she said.
That was the beginning of the Away Luggage brand, which she co-founded with Stephanie Korey.
“Before we even designed our first piece of luggage, we interviewed over 800 people, asked them what they needed in luggage and also what their travel pinpoints are, and designed the perfect piece of luggage around that,” she said.
More than half a million bags later, Rubio’s company developed a cult following since their launch in late 2015.
Even before they sold their first piece of luggage, they wanted to make sure they made a net positive in the world.
The non-profit also works with peace-building organizations around the world.
“In the Philippines, Peace Direct works with organizations in Mindanao to help families and businesses whose lives are basically destroyed because of the conflict there,” she said.
Members of the Away team joined forces with Peace Direct to see how to repair the divide between Christians and Muslims.
“I think we consider not just our financial gains, but all of our stakeholders… the environment, our employees, the people around who we can help,” she said.
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